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Japan’s garden of the dead

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This incredibly creepy garden in Japan’s Toyama prefecture is home to 800 life-like statues, following your every move with their unnervingly blank stares.

The sculptures were created in the late 1980s at the request of a prominent local businessmen called Mutsuo Furukawa, at an estimated cost of 6 billion yen (A$78.5 million).

While some appear to be Buddhist deities, many are thought to be people he knew during his lifetime, because he wanted them to be with him for eternity.

He even commissioned a tall statue of himself, overlooking the park.

It’s believed he intended the garden to be a place of relaxation, and that he wanted to enhance the wellbeing of the local people while promoting tourism.

However, photographer Ken Ohki says he couldn’t shake the feeling the bizarre lawn ornaments came alive after dark.

The statues were carved out of stone in the late 1980s. Picture: Ken Okhi.

“You come to feel like something is moving every time you turn around,” he wrote on his blog, describing the place as “chilling”.

The village is known as Fureai Sekibutsu no Sato, which literally translates to “the village where you can meet Buddhist statues”.

It’s incredibly popular with tourists, who arrive daily to check out the bizarre lawn ornaments.

Some of the eerie figures are lined up in rows, while others are scattered over the hills, with many almost disappearing into the long grass.

There’s an unshakable feeling the statues come alive after dark. Picture: Ken Okhi

It’s not the only creepy village in Japan.

Further south, in Nagoro, a woman has been replacing dead people with life-size dolls.

Tsukimi Ayano has created more than 350 effigies, which vastly outnumber the local population.

“Since I started to weave the dolls, I am not alone anymore. Every day someone comes to visit me,” she told Brazilian journalist Roberto Maxwell.

Some dolls are crowded at bus stops, while others are working in fields or fixing roads.

She even created likenesses of her own family, showing her father with a cigarette.

A 67-year-old woman, Tsukimi Ayano, weaves effigies of people from her village in Nagoro. Picture: Roberto Maxwell

It’s an isolated mountain village, and the dolls now vastly outnumber the residents. Picture: Roberto Maxwell

Crime

SMC South Africa Employee Loses Job for using k-word

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An employee of SMC South Africa Alochna Moodley, who admitted to using the k-word in reference to a black flight captain and passengers in an SMS, has been dismissed from work with immediate effect.



“A recent incident has been brought to the company’s attention [and] at SMC [Pneumatics], we do not tolerate any form of racism,” said Kevin O’Carroll, managing director at SMC South Africa.

This follows Moodley calling two black passengers – Reverend Solumuzi Mabuza and Sibusiso Magubane – as well as Captain Menzi Mvelase by the k-word on a flight from OR Tambo International to King Shaka Airport last Friday night.

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She was called out by Mabuza, who was seated next to her and saw her typing the k-word on her phone, when she was expressing anger that someone on the flight was drunk while another person was “sniffing”.

Moodley was immediately escorted off the Kulula.com flight when the incident was brought to the airline crew’s attention.

On her part, Moodley admitted her offence to newsmen and blamed it on being frustrated.

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She said: “It was a mistake on my side, I am not going to deny that I said those things.

“Yes, it’s wrong for me to make those racial remarks but it was my SMS, so why was he [Mabuza] looking at my phone?

He invaded my privacy and I feel like this thing was blown out of proportion,” she said at the time.

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-Sowetan Live

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News

Manchester Airport closed, Flights Canceled as Snow hits the UK

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Runways at major UK airports has reportedly been shut down by heavy snow and has brought travel disruption to commuters as temperatures plunged across the country.



Manchester Airport said on Twitter that it has temporarily shut its runways to clear snow. Liverpool Airport also closed its runway for about four hours while heavy snow was cleared from the runway. It reopened at 9:50 a.m. (4:50 a.m. ET).
Both airports have however advised people to check the status of their flight before traveling.
Frustrated passengers tweeted they have been stuck at the airports or on planes since early morning.

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Weather warnings for snow and ice have been issued for areas around England, and police and road authorities have warned of dangerous driving conditions in the Midlands and north of the country.
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After reports of multiple collisions, Greater Manchester police have charged drivers to be careful, and the UK’s national weather service, the Met Office, issued a yellow warning for ice and snow covering much of the UK on Wednesday.
Parts of France are also under a weather warning after heavy snow fall, Météo France,as warned by the French national meteorological service.
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-CNN

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